One of these things is not like the other: Lots of glitter, craft and DIY projects that would make Martha Stewart herself as green as Pantone's 2013 color of the year, regular TV appearances, writing a book... and three kids under the age of 5. Meet Alexandra Hedin, lifestyle and entertaining expert who, with her signature ponytail and colorful point of view (literally! The girl loves color!), gives us a fresh perspective on what it means to have it all.
A day in the life
When we asked Alexandra to describe a typical day as a working mom with three young children at home, she gave a one-word answer that pretty much says it all: Chaos. And, as most moms would agree, between the morning rush to get everyone dressed and out the door in one piece, cramming in some projects/chores/emails/work while her littlest one, Judson, takes a short nap in the morning, making healthy meals to sustain everyone throughout the day and then rushing back to school to pick up the older kiddos, Lars and Pearl, the four hours at home goes by in the blink of an eye for Alexandra.
As is proof on her blog, her work with Seattle-based lifestyle magazine, 425 Magazine, her regular television appearances and all of the creative ideas that she puts into action, rather than just pinning on her Pinterest boards, like the rest of us do, Alexandra knows something that the rest of us don't.
As Alexandra shares, it's less about having enough hours in the day to be successful at both home and work, but more about throwing the concept of balance out the window and meshing the two worlds together. "It's a blending of work and personal life," she says. "It's easy to incorporate my children into crafting, cooking and product testing on a regular basis. [Oftentimes], it isn't just dinner at our house, but recipe testing too."
On the flipside, Alexandra candidly tells us that life is not all roses and glitter at the Hedin household. She says, "There are days when Mr. Hedin has had enough of the same dinner several nights in a row (due to recipe testing), when Pearl thinks my project is 'not so pretty' or when Lars wants to play a game on my computer and I need to answer emails."
She also says, "Nothing is perfect, but that also depends on what you define as perfect. I'm a pretty lucky gal that I get to work from home, do what I love and be around my children — to me, that makes it perfect."
On having it all
When we asked Alexandra about "having it all," her perspective was fresh and a good reminder to moms of all kinds — whether you are a working mother, a stay-at-home mother, or somewhere in between where you and your family are creating the life that you desire — it comes down to this — we do have it all because we are able to have it all, if we want to.
"I think the problem
is the pressure we put on ourselves to make everything super perfect."
And, even a mom whose career is to show you how to make living as pretty as possible, Alexandra leaves us with this piece of advice, "I think the problem is the pressure we put on ourselves to make everything super perfect." When it comes to having it all — a family, a career, a life — she reminds us, "Friends will forgive you for being late to a girls' night, your kids will recover if you read one book instead of two, and your husband can order pizza a few nights."
While she's here...
Alexandra was kind enough to also send us her best entertaining tips for moms:
- Get personalized napkins now. Go to ForYourParty.com and order them up. No matter what you serve or what you do, you automatically look pulled together with personalized napkins.
- Have a cocktail before your guests arrive... even if you are still peeling potatoes. Relax a little — if you are totally stressed out then your guests will never be comfortable.
- Know your audience. When I have friends over who have children, I always have a kid-friendly option, like tater tots or meatballs. If you're hosting people who don't have children, make sure your own will be entertained without you around. If you have non-drinkers, serve something that appeals to them like dry soda or sparkly water.
You can find Alexandra Hedin on her website, where you can also find her fantastic blog (she posts the best happy hour recipes!), as well as on Facebook.
More on having it all
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